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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Sex 1II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Sexstefja 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 112-13.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonSexstefja
12

Hvasst ‘sharp’

hvass (adj.; °-an; -ari, -astr): keen, sharp

notes

[1] hvasst ‘sharp’: As a n. nom./acc. sg. adj., this could qualify hlífél ‘a shield-storm [BATTLE]’ (l. 2), or be used adverbially, qualifying the inf. drífa ‘drove’, lit. ‘drive’ (l. 2). The emphatic placing, first and at a distance from hlífél, produces an adverbial effect either way, rather as the placing of trauðr ‘reluctant’ (l. 8) at a distance from hann ‘he’ (l. 5) does.

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frák ‘I learned’

1. fregna (verb): hear of

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Haugi ‘Haug’

haugr (noun m.; °-s, -i; -ar): mound, cairn

[1] Haugi: hauki J2ˣ, 325VII, hugi 325V, ‘hoggui’ 61

notes

[1] Haugi ‘Haug’: Dat. sg. of Haugr, modern Haug, the name of a farm in Verdalen (Veradalr), near the battle-site of Stiklestad (Stiklastaðir). The p. n. means ‘(place at) the mound, hill’.

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it ‘’

2. inn (art.): the

[1] it: om. 61

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hlíf ‘a shield’

hlíf (noun f.; °-ar; -ar): shield, defence < hlífél (noun n.)

kennings

hlífél
‘a shield-storm ’
   = BATTLE

a shield-storm → BATTLE
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él ‘storm’

él (noun n.; °; dat. -um): storm < hlífél (noun n.)

kennings

hlífél
‘a shield-storm ’
   = BATTLE

a shield-storm → BATTLE
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gram ‘the ruler’

1. gramr (noun m.): ruler

notes

[2] gram ‘the ruler’: Either Haraldr Sigurðarson (so Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, IV and see following Note), or perhaps more likely Óláfr.

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drífa ‘drove’

2. drífa (verb; °drífr; dreif, drifu; drifinn): drive, rush

[2] drífa: ‘d.’ 325VII, ‘dr[…]’ Hr

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Bolgara ‘of Bulgars’

bolgari (noun m.): [Bulgars]

[3] Bolgara: ‘bolgera’ 61

kennings

brennir Bolgara
‘the burner of Bulgars ’
   = Haraldr

the burner of Bulgars → Haraldr

notes

[3] brennir Bolgara ‘the burner of Bulgars [= Haraldr]’: An anticipatory reference to Haraldr’s campaigns in the service of the Byzantine emperor. The Bulgars, associated in the C11th with the Albigensian heresy, would have been perceived (like the pagan Wends) as suitable targets of a Christian monarch. Frank (1978, 124) suggests the nickname of Emperor Basil II Bulgaroctonus (‘Slaughterer of Bulgars’, 976-1025) as a possible model for the kenning.

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brennir ‘the burner’

brennir (noun m.; °dat. & acc. -): [burner]

[3] brennir: bræðir 321ˣ

kennings

brennir Bolgara
‘the burner of Bulgars ’
   = Haraldr

the burner of Bulgars → Haraldr

notes

[3] brennir Bolgara ‘the burner of Bulgars [= Haraldr]’: An anticipatory reference to Haraldr’s campaigns in the service of the Byzantine emperor. The Bulgars, associated in the C11th with the Albigensian heresy, would have been perceived (like the pagan Wends) as suitable targets of a Christian monarch. Frank (1978, 124) suggests the nickname of Emperor Basil II Bulgaroctonus (‘Slaughterer of Bulgars’, 976-1025) as a possible model for the kenning.

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brœðr ‘brother’

bróðir (noun m.; °bróður/brǿðr/bróðurs, dat. bróður/brǿðr/breðr, acc. bróður/brǿðr; brǿðr/bróðr/breðr (brǿðrirnir Jvs291 75¹⁴), gen. brǿ---): brother

[4] brœðr: bróður H

notes

[4] brœðr sínum ‘his brother’: Haraldr and Óláfr had the same mother, Ásta Guðbrandsdóttir.

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sínum ‘his’

3. sinn (pron.; °f. sín, n. sitt): (refl. poss. pron.)

notes

[4] brœðr sínum ‘his brother’: Haraldr and Óláfr had the same mother, Ásta Guðbrandsdóttir.

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Skilðisk ‘parted’

1. skilja (verb): separate, understand

[5] Skilðisk: skildi 325V

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ok ‘and’

3. ok (conj.): and, but; also

[5] ok hulði: ‘med huldu’ 321ˣ

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hulði ‘concealed’

2. hylja (verb): to bury, cover, inhume

[5] ok hulði: ‘med huldu’ 321ˣ

notes

[5-6] hulði hjalmsetr ‘concealed his helmet-stand [HEAD]’: Cf. the idiom fara hulðu hǫfði, lit. ‘go with concealed head’, i.e. ‘go secretly, escape under-cover’, though in Anon (MH) the gesture seems to represent grief at the death of Magnús góði, and such a meaning would be appropriate here. That the variant reading gen. sg. hjalmsetrs appears in so large a range of mss is difficult to explain.

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hjalm ‘his helmet’

1. hjalmr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): helmet < hjalmsetr (noun n.)

[6] hjalm‑: hjal‑ Holm2

kennings

hjalmsetr.
‘his helmet-stand.’
   = HEAD

his helmet-stand. → HEAD

notes

[5-6] hulði hjalmsetr ‘concealed his helmet-stand [HEAD]’: Cf. the idiom fara hulðu hǫfði, lit. ‘go with concealed head’, i.e. ‘go secretly, escape under-cover’, though in Anon (MH) the gesture seems to represent grief at the death of Magnús góði, and such a meaning would be appropriate here. That the variant reading gen. sg. hjalmsetrs appears in so large a range of mss is difficult to explain.

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setr ‘stand’

setr (noun n.; °-s; -): seat, abode < hjalmsetr (noun n.)

[6] ‑setr: ‑setrs F, E, J2ˣ, 321ˣ, Holm4, 325V, 61, Bb, Tóm, Hr

kennings

hjalmsetr.
‘his helmet-stand.’
   = HEAD

his helmet-stand. → HEAD

notes

[5-6] hulði hjalmsetr ‘concealed his helmet-stand [HEAD]’: Cf. the idiom fara hulðu hǫfði, lit. ‘go with concealed head’, i.e. ‘go secretly, escape under-cover’, though in Anon (MH) the gesture seems to represent grief at the death of Magnús góði, and such a meaning would be appropriate here. That the variant reading gen. sg. hjalmsetrs appears in so large a range of mss is difficult to explain.

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vetra ‘years [lit. winters]’

vetr (noun m.; °vetrar/vetrs(HómHauksb³ 173²³), dat. vetri; vetr): winter

[6] vetra: ‘vettra’ F

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tolf ‘twelve’

tolf (num. cardinal): twelve

[7] tolf (‘xij’): ‘.xiij.’ 39

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þriggja ‘three’

þrír (num. cardinal): three

[7] þriggja: ‘.iii.’ 39, Holm4, ‘þriggri’ Hr

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trauðr ‘reluctant’

trauðr (adj.): reluctant

[8] trauðr: ‘trouðr’ FskAˣ

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

The fifteen-year-old Haraldr Sigurðarson fights for his half-brother Óláfr Haraldsson at Stiklestad (Stiklastaðir, 1030). It is explained either at this point or later that he is wounded but escapes. The st. is cited as an integral part of the account of the battle in Fsk and ÓH but within the first ch. of HSig in Hkr and H-Hr.

The poem is named in the introduction to the st.: A þat qveþr Þioðolfr scalld i drapv þeirri er hann orti vm Haralld konung er cǫllvð er Sexstefia ‘Þjóðólfr the skald mentions this in the drápa that he composed about King Haraldr, which is called Sexstefja (‘Six-Refrains’)’ (ÓH version). Omitted from the ms. list above is 73a, since at this point it is copied from 325V. — For Haraldr’s involvement in this battle, see also Hharð Gamv 1 and Hharð Lv 1, 2a-b.

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